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Monday, February 25, 2013

Introduction to Kitchen Gardening

Posted by Shakil Shaukat On Monday, February 25, 2013

In the modern age of urban life and industrialization, the land for cultivation is continuously decreasing and hence more problems for getting fresh vegetables, grains and other edible commodities is also arising. But to cope with this situation, the concept of kitchen gardening has been introduced formally in metropolitan cities of this world.
A representation of Kitchen Gardening in Lahore

In kitchen gardening, vegetables for domestic use are grown in home lawn or other space available. This is also a hobby for many people as well as quick source of healthy food. But like any other form of cultivation, kitchen gardening should also be managed and have some inputs. A generalized production technology is given below which is recommended in Lahore.


Following points should be kept in mind before starting kitchen gardening;
  1. Different types of vegetables should not be mixed. This is helpful to prepare the land each time for sowing new seeds.
  2. Availability to the light is very important to vegetables so keep in mind the place to sow must receive at least 7-8 hours of direct sunlight.
  3. The vegetables like cucurbits, bitter gourd, bottle gourd etc which have growing habit of vines should be kept separate from other vegetables without vine. These vines should be separately grown near some support like wall or support can also be provided with sticks.


The vegetables in kitchen gardening can be selected on the choice of the farming family. The time of the year or season should be kept in mind because some vegetables grow well in summer and others are winter vegetables.
Winter vegetables: pea, spinach, fenugreek, cabbage, cauliflower, radish, carrot, turnip, sugar beet, onion, garlic, coriander and salad leaves etc.
Summer vegetables: chilies, cucurbits, bitter gourd, giant gourd, bottle gourd, okra, eggplant and tomato etc.


Land preparation is the key to successful crop stand. The land selected for kitchen gardening should have good drainage and aeration properties. Organic matter should be mixed 1-2 months before seed sowing so that it can mix well with the soil. Leaf litter or animal dung is a good natural source of organic matter. Small piece of land can be prepared by hoeing with manual tools, and in case of larger piece of land use chisel or other plows to prepare the soil.


The time and method of sowing differs from vegetable to vegetable. Use recommended plant to plant and row to row distance should be maintained for getting a healthy vegetable crop.


Garlic should be sown on leveled soil.
Nursery should be raised for cauliflower, cabbage, salad leaves and onion. Transfer the seedling of 30-35 days to the furrows made in the field.
Carrot, radish, turnip, salad, spinach, coriander, fenugreek and onion should be planted on both sides of the furrows.


Use 700 grams DAP, 250 grams urea, and 300 grams Potash per marla of land. Urea should also be applied @ 100 grams per marla after flowering and similarly 100 grams per marla, after taking 2-3 harvests.


Fresh clean water should be used for irrigation according to the requirement of the field. The field should be irrigated on completion of sowing of seeds or transferring of nursery seedlings. The water level in the field should be below furrows otherwise it will affect the germination and it also makes a compact layer of soil over the seed which hampers its germination. Weekly irrigation should be given in summer season but in winter season, irrigate according to the requirement only.


Usually manual weeding is recommended for small piece of land. Continuous hoeing of the land will result in control of weeds, more aeration and drainage from the field.


The chances for pest or disease attack are very low if the proper weeds are eradicated from the field properly because weeds serve as the primary source of inoculum for fungi and breeding grounds for eggs and larvae of insects.


Harvest can be taken in any quantity at any time. This provides fresh and reliable vegetable for home cooking.